SA Branch Event: Stargazing Night at the Heights Observatory

The Heights Observatory is one of the best – but little known – stargazing venues in Adelaide. It is the best equipped school observatory in South Australia, located just 20 minutes from the Adelaide CBD.

Our visit will highlight the work done at the observatory; provide a tour of the facility; and offer the opportunity to look through the telescopes at a number of objects in the night sky.

 Australian Science Communicators members, families and friends; the general public; teachers and students are welcome to join us. Numbers are limited so bookings are essential.

When: Saturday April 20 at 7:00 pm

Bookings at:

Where: The Heights School, Brunel Drive, Modbury Heights, SA, 5092. (The car park is situated off Augusta Street. Walk across the school playing fields to the observatory buildings – please do not drive on the grass.)

 Cost:  $5 for ASC members. $10 for non-members

Money raised will go to the STAR group – a volunteer organisation comprised of school students, parents and interested members of the community that operates and maintains the facility.

Technical Notes: The Heights Observatory is a purpose built facility consisting of two buildings. The Papaelia Observatory is a traditional domed observatory housing a 355mm (14″) Meade LX200 GPS ACF Schmidt Cassegrain telescope while the adjacent Ingham rooms are a flat top retractable roof observatory housing a high quality 315mm (12.5″) Ritchey–Chrétien Cassegrain telescope from Optical Guidance System and a. small classroom. The Observatory also has a 405mm (16″) Meade Light-Bridge Dobsonian, a  255mm (10″) GSO Dobsonian, and 80mm Celestron NextSTAR GT GOTO scope.  It has a QHY8 cooled CCD camera and Canon 40D DSLR camera for astronomical imaging.

Alternative Medicine versus Science: Winners and Losers

ASCSA Tuesday 11th December Meeting

“Pseudo” means fake. The best way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about real science, including the scientifically proven facts and the nature of science. This includes the criteria of evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of theories, and the many aspects of the scientific method that make it possible to draw reliable conclusions about the physical universe.

Because we are constantly bombarded with nonsense through a wide variety of media, it is useful to consider the hallmarks of pseudoscience. Examples include indifference to facts and the criteria of valid evidence, reliance on subjective validation, avoidance of meaningful tests, and arguments from ignorance, errors, anomalies and strange events.

The presence of even one of these should arouse great suspicion. On the other hand, material displaying none of these flaws might still be pseudoscience, because its adherents invent new ways to fool themselves every day.

At our December event we examine Pseudoscience, particularly in the context of Medicine. Our distinguished panel comprises real scientists and science communicators, all with a healthy disrespect for those who would tout snake oil.

We have:

Prof Rob Morrison (Science Communicator): What and why about Friends of Science in medicine; why pseudosciences are not science

Dr Ian Musgrave (Molecular Pharmacologist/Toxicologist, University of Adelaide): A small dose of homeopathy: an in- depth look at the nonsense offered as valid

Tory Shepherd (Journalist, The Advertiser): Pseudoscience and the public, the media angle

Prof Marcello Costa (Prof of Neurophysiology, School of Medicine, Flinders University): Moving science into the medical arena

Prof Alastair MacLennan (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide): In depth case studies  for  medical  impact  on  women/children’s  health

All presenters have published/blogged on pseudoscience. Come and join us for an evening of discussion and debate!

Cost: ASC members & RiAus members: Free Non-members: $5

Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Venue: The Science Exchange 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000

Bookings via Eventbrite:

Watch for photos from this event on Facebook!

ASCSA media training workshop 6 Sept- Adelaide

6 September 2010
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

Australian Science Communicators SA Event ASCSA media training workshop With Rob Morrison Date: Monday 6 September Time: 6pm-9pm Venue: RiAus Main Auditorium The Science Exchange Exchange Place Adelaide Bookings: at Cost: Free to ASCSA members, non-members $40, Students $25. Payment at the door please. Workshop limited to 40 people.

What may be very important in science may still not be considered newsworthy by the media. The media have their own priorities, and it can be difficult to get media coverage for stories about scientific issues that are important but complex, or threatening, or lacking in visual possibilities, or are not in tune with journalistic misconceptions. A science story is often just not eye-catching enough to make past an editor amongst a mountain of “more” newsworthy stories. So a different approach is needed. This workshop will introduce critical issues in the preparation of a science research story for the media, whether it be a media release or a radio or TV interview. You will get to write, practice and discuss how this can be done, with Rob Morrison, one of the most experienced science communicators in Australia. He has 40 years of experience under his belt as a TV and radio broadcaster, 34 science and natural history books, with 13 more co-authored, and dozens of articles He has also won many national and international awards, including two Eureka Prizes, one being the Australian Government Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science, the Michael Daley Award for Science Journalism, and the inaugural SA South Australian Government award for Excellence in Science Communication. In 2004, he was awarded the Order of Australia for Science Communication and Conservation. Who better to cover such ground? Please email if you need further information. You will be sent the workshop agenda on registration. _______________________________________________ ASC-list mailing list